- Shutterstock / Barna Tanko
Rotting, crumbling, or completely taken over by nature, abandoned buildings can be as creepy as they are fascinating.
Hotels are no exception.
From once-thriving beach resorts to former celebrity hotspots, we’ve rounded up 20 of the coolest abandoned hotels from around the world, as well as the history behind them.
Roy’s Motel Café, Amboy, California
Located in Amboy, California, a ghost town on the historic Route 66, Roy’s Motel Cafe has been featured in various movies, including “The Hitcher” and “Southbound.”
Although the coffee shop and gas station were reopened in 2008, the motel remains closed.
Haludovo Palace Hotel, Krk, Croatia
The Haludovo Palace Hotel was once a luxurious vacation destination on the beautiful Croatian island of Krk.
The hotel became even more lavish when the founder of Penthouse Magazine, Bob Guccione, invested $45 million in the property and renamed it the Penthouse Adriatic Club Casino.
However, after the Yugoslav Wars began in the early 1990s, tourism in Krk came to a drastic halt. Today, many beautiful beachfront properties still remain empty, including this former resort.
The Lorraine Hotel, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Flickr / Steven-L-Johnson
Originally built as an apartment complex, the Divine Lorraine Hotel is a 124-year-old establishment that has a somewhat twisted past. It was home to a cult, as it was purchased by the International Peace Mission Movement in 1948 in order to provide affordable housing, meals, and a place of worship for rule-abiding followers.
With the cult’s mission focusing on racial harmony, the hotel became the first racially integrated hotel in the US, but has stood abandoned since 1999.
Ryugyong Hotel, Pyongyang, North Korea
- Ho New/Reuters
With 105 floors and a unique, triangular shape, the Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang towers over much of the city.
Construction on the building began in 1989 with plans of containing lounges, casinos, and night clubs. However, the hotel has remained unfinished for decades.
Polissya Hotel, Pripyat, Ukraine
- Shutterstock / Milosz Maslanka
On April 26, 1986, a radioactive release 10 times bigger than the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima occurred at the Chernobyl nuclear power station. Around 350,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes, leaving in such a haste that the city looks like it’s frozen in time.
Dolls are scattered on the floors of abandoned kindergartens; shreds of sheets and pillows remain on beds; and dishes rot in sinks. Radiation levels in the city are still too high for people to live there, so it remains untouched.
The Polissya Hotel is one of the tallest buildings in the abandoned city, and is even featured in the video game “Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.”
Hotel Belvedere, Dubrovnik, Croatia
- Shutterstock / Donatas Dabravolskas
Once a five-star luxury resort, the Hotel Belvedere was destroyed during the Siege of Dubrovnik during the War of Independence in 1991, and has remained abandoned ever since.
One of the hotel’s decks was recently used as a set for “Game of Thrones,” more specifically, as the site of the battle between Prince Oberyn and The Mountain in the fourth season.
A Russian billionaire recently bought the ruins with plans to fix it up.
Lee Plaza Hotel, Detroit, Michigan
Built in 1927, the 15-story Lee Plaza Hotel was abandoned in 1993, after a stint serving low-income seniors.
The art-deco hotel faced major financial and legal woes, especially during the Great Depression, and saw many different owners.
Hotels in Varosha, Famagusta, Cyprus
- Varosha, Famagusta/Wikipedia
Varosha, a town on the island of Cyprus, was once popular among tourists, though the entire beachside community is abandoned today. Elizabeth Taylor and Brigitte Bardot both visited Varosha back in its prime, according to the Daily Mail. However, in 1974, a Turkish invasion and occupation of the island took place. While a United Nations buffer zone kept them at bay, keeping them around two miles from the resort city, hotels and businesses lost their customers and became vacant.
Today, many beachfront hotels still stand, overlooking the ocean, although they remain eerily empty.
Grand Hotel Kupari, Kupari, Croatia
- Shutterstock / Goran Jakus
A stone’s throw away from Dubrovnik, Grand Hotel Kupari was a former military resort built for the elite of the then Yugoslav army and their families. Soon, four more hotels were constructed around it.
Although the other hotels have since been demolished and will soon be replaced by a five-star Marriott, the Grand Hotel remains, protected as a historical building.
Prora, Rügen, Germany
- Sean Gallup / Getty Images
Prora is a massive, three-mile-long resort complex located on the German island of Rügen on the Baltic Sea.
Construction on this giant beachfront property, meant for members of the Gestapo as well as weary German worker to holiday in, began in 1936, three years before Adolf Hitler invaded Poland. The project came to a halt once World War II began and the site was abandoned until recently.
Baker Hotel, Mineral Wells, Texas
- Shutterstock / Barna Tanko
The abandoned Baker Hotel, which opened in 1929, was the first skyscraper built outside of a major metropolitan area. It also had newfangled 5-star amenities like the first Olympic size hotel swimming pool, air conditioning, and automatic light controls.
All this attracted legendary guests such as Lyndon Johnson, Judy Garland, the Three Stooges, and even American criminals Bonnie and Clyde.
Although the hotel continued to thrive throughout the Great Depression, its doors closed in 1972.
Rum Orphanage, Büyükada, Istanbul, Turkey
This large wooden building on Büyükada, off the coast of Turkey, was originally designed to be a luxury hotel and casino. Due to issues with permits, however, the building was sold and eventually turned into an orphanage in the early 20th century.
The approximately 215,000 square foot building is reportedly the largest historic timber building in Europe, according to the World Monuments Fund.
After failing as a hotel and ending operations as an orphanage in 1964, the building remained unoccupied for decades. In 2012, restoration began to turn the site into an environmental institute.
Hotel Ponce Intercontinental, Ponce, Puerto Rico
- Shutterstock / Felix Lipov
Closed since 1975, Hotel Ponce Intercontinental, nicknamed simply “El Ponce,” was once a glamorous, 170-room beach resort on top of El Vigia Hill, overlooking the south coast of Puerto Rico.
Due to financial troubles, the once chic hotel has been empty for over 40 years. The building won’t remain abandoned for much longer, though, as plans were recently approved for it to be converted into a housing complex for homeless youth that is part of the LGBTQ community.
Grossinger’s Catskill Resort, Liberty, New York
- John Moore/Getty
The Catskill Mountains in New York are still a popular vacation destination, although this former resort is no longer the luxurious escape it once was.
Grossinger’s Catskill Resort in Liberty, New York, has been abandoned since the 1980s. The hotel first opened in the early 1900s, although it really took off in the 1950s. In its heyday, the resort had a swimming pool, golf course, ski slope, and theater, offering amenities for every season.
However, after the resort’s owner died in 1972 and the property was sold to a hotel developer, plans to renovate Grossinger’s fell through and the resort fell into disrepair. Today, the property is fenced off – though that doesn’t stop urban explorers who want to sneak a peek at what remains.
Sheraton Rarotonga, Cook Islands
- Shutterstock / ChameleonsEye
This abandoned beach resort is said to have ties to the mafia, and is also believed to be cursed.
The hotel dates back to a 1987 deal between the Cook Islands Government and an Italian bank, and was meant to become a Sheraton. However, an angry local claimed that the land was his, and cursed it. The hotel was never finished, and the remaining structures are now dilapidated and graffiti-ridden.
Bokor Palace, Bokor Hill Station, Cambodia
- Shutterstock / Svetlana Eremina
Bokor Palace was built in 1925 as the main attraction of a new resort town called Bokor Hill Station that was created as a respite for the French military, who had a hard time with Cambodia’s heat. However, when the civil war broke out in the 40s, the French military headed back to France, leaving the town abandoned.
Hotel Belvédère du Rayon Vert, Cerbère, France
- Flickr / Jorge Franganillo
This ship-shaped building used to serve as a luxurious place for travelers to spend the night near the train station.
Built between 1928 and 1932, the hotel had a ballroom, theater, and rooftop tennis court with a sprawling view of the ocean.
During the outbreak of the war in Spain, however, the borders were closed, and traffic to and from the train station declined. The hotel was soon left abandoned.
In 1987, the building became protected as a historic monument, and is now in part rental apartments.
Riviera Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada
- Shutterstock / Atomazul
Built in 1955, the Riviera Hotel was the first high-rise resort on the Vegas strip, attracting famous guests such as Frank Sinatra, Dolly Parton, and Elvis Presley.
It was also featured in several Vegas-based movies including “Casino,” “Oceans 11,” and “The Hangover.”
The building closed in 2015 due to financial troubles, and was left abandoned until it was imploded in 2016.
Penn Hills Resort, Poconos Mountains, Pennsylvania
- Flickr / Jonathan Haeber
Located in the “honeymoon capital of the world,” this abandoned hotel used to be a romantic getaway hotspot in the Poconos that included two wedding bell-shaped swimming pools and guest villas that featured heart-shaped Jacuzzis and round beds.
Having been abandoned since 2009, the resort recently went up in flames.
Buck Hill Inn, Poconos Mountains, Pennsylvania
- Flickr / Jonathan Haeber
Built in 1901, The Buck Hill Inn near Mountainhome, Pennsylvania, used to feature an array of amenities, such as an amphitheater, golf course, horseback riding, an indoor pool, and tennis; however, it was left abandoned in 1990 after a decline in guests.
In 2000, the Buck Hill Inn was used as a location for MTV’s show “Fear,” which claimed that the hotel was the site of 73 murders, the suicide of one maid, and ghost sightings.
The hotel was recently demolished.